This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Refugees Initiative

"Buddy" Program

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INTERVIEWS


INSTITUTION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

University of Bolzano

COUNTRY

Italy

CITY

Bolzano

Address

Piazza dell'Università, 1 - 39100 Bolzano
[email protected]

TYPOLOGY

- Help desk and supporting services for refugee students
- Intercultural competences activities for staff
- Social Events
- Tutoring and peer support for refugee students

TARGET GROUPS

- Newly arrived refugees
- Refugees of second generation
- University staff (academic and administrative)

DESCRIPTION AND METHODOLOGIES

The program selects some refugees thanks to some associations, such as as Caritas and similar. The refugees can take courses of their choice among all the courses offered by the university. They are registered as extracurricular students, that means they don’t need any legalize document to attend the courses, they don’t have to have language skills, they can choose the topics of their interest.

The project started in 2015, when there was a big wave of refugees to Austria and Germany. Bolzano is near the border and a lot of refugees came to the city. The project was started by some professors and administrastive staff. The objective was to integrate some refugees into university life, get them out of the camp for a few hours per day and talk about something else than bureaucratic problems.
To better integrate the refugee students into the university life, the professors asked some regular students to join the “Buddy” program and help the team in the integration of those refugee students.
The “Buddy” helps the refugees to be able to talk to new people , not only the other refugees in the camp, to share their interests with some other young people and to realize that they are very similar, they can talk about any kind of topics.

RESULTS AND IMPACT

The impact is very big on the professors who have the opportunity to have these refugee students in their classes. They are very welcoming to them because they can share with them different perspectives and improve the dialogue in their classrooms